The new year has barely begun and already we have our first jolting surprise: a looming war with Iran. No doubt there will be many more unexpected events before 2020’s 366 days have all been used up.

But there also are things we can know for sure. Traffic in Seattle won’t go away. The homelessness problem will not be fixed. And Gov. Jay Inslee will win a third term as Washington’s governor.

Given the perennial uncertainties of politics, that last prediction may not seem a sure bet, but consider the realities. The Republicans not only lack a formidable gubernatorial candidate to take on the two-term Democratic governor, their eventual candidate will be splitting the anti-Inslee vote with initiative huckster Tim Eyman, who is running as an independent. Even if the erratic Eyman changes his mind and doesn’t run, the GOP’s choice will be handicapped with President Donald Trump at the top of the ballot. Democratic voters who already dominate in statewide races will be turning out in big numbers to express their extreme dislike of the president, and most of their votes for governor will go to you-know-who.

Washington will be bluer than ever in 2020 and that is good news for Inslee. Safe bets do not come much safer in politics.

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